Monday, 28 April 2014

Chipiona, Bonanza area and along the Rio Guadalquivir, Cadiz Province.

Another lifer for the Guide and plenty of new species for the tour.
GRANADA WILDLIFE'S Spring Tour.
Day Three.


We left the Hotel Paso and headed straight up the main road around Cadiz, through Puerto San Maria and on along to the town of Chipiona which took just on an hour, quite a bit less time than expected. We started birding at a site on the outskirts of the town and quickly found several Little Swifts (Apus affinis), our first target species of the day which was to be the second lifer of the tour for Me. We had fantastic views of at least 10 of the superb fast flying birds before we checked the rest of the site out. On the beach we picked up a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), several Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and out to sea quite a few Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). The tide was very low and quite a lot of rocky coast was visible, there were quite a few people collecting some sort of seafood in the pools but there were also a few birds about including Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), at least 4 Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), a Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), a couple of Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and two flyby Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna). From here we made our way North passed Sanlúcarde Barrameda to Bonanza Salt works were we spent quite a while checking out the Salt pans, Channels and Marshes in the area. As soon as we arrived we started to see the first of a few hundred Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) which could be found feeding good sized flocks on just about all the lagoons. At the first stop point we also saw several Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Little (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) and Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Avocets (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta). We made a couple more stops along the main track in and spent some time scanning through large groups of waders finding Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina). Also seen were a few distant Slender-billed Gulls (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and a number of varying plumaged Black-heads (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). Along the channel and fenceline to the left at the T junction we saw Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), a close Black Kite, several Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), more Black-winged Stilts, Avocets and loads of Curlew Sandpipers. We stopped down near the river but failed to add anything to the list so we went back along the track passed the turn on to the main drive and continued on to the pump house at the far end of the track and checked the large pool there. One of the first species we picked up was an immature Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus) amongst a group of Black Heads, here we also had a single Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) in flight, lots more Greater Flamingo's, Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), a single Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Ruddy Turnstone and several Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). We made our way back along the tracks and back towards the entrance picking up a single Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), seveal Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) on the way. 
Our next stop was lunch and for the first and last time on the trip we were ripped off for some ridiculously prices baguette in a bar just down the road in Bonanza town. From here we made our way through the agricultural sprawl to the North west of the town and located two roadside pools and started to scanned the ducks in residence.We started with a female White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), several Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and several Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser). These were followed by a very nice Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) which showed well at the far end of the pool. On the second smaller pool we located a single Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), a family party of White-headed Ducks along with several displaying Males. Over the water we also saw several Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Lesser Emperors, Red-veined Darters and in the nearby reeds a male Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii). As we were about to leave I had a flight view of a female Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) which disappeared into some dense reeds before I could get any one on to it so it remained a Guide only species for today. 
We moved on and headed through the large Monte Algaide Pine Woods, on the way through we saw lots of Black Kites, some of which were harassing a dark phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), we also saw or heard Sardinian Warbler, Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch  (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). On the track side verges there were lots of wildflowers with Large Pimpernel (Anagallis monelli), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum) and Yellow Sunrose (Halimum halimifolium) being commonest, on these plants we saw Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Small White (Artogeia rapae). Once we cleared the woods we turn to the North and then followed the River along passed several small pools out to the Monte Algaide Salt pans, on the way we saw move of the same species seen at Bonanza but added Lesser Short-toed  (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) to the list along with a couple more Squacco Herons. Once we reached the Salt pans we had a short walk along the side of the first pit, staying down in the fields so as not to flush the birds off the water. Here we picked up a flock of Black-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), around 150 Avocets, Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina). We later retraced our way back to the Cano de Martin Ruiz but took the turning which followed the river again, between the road and the river there were several small pools were we had nice views of a fine Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and several Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) before reaching the larger lakes of Codo de la Esparraguera. Here we saw lots of birds but added nothing new to the day or trip list, however the selection of waders was very good and there were large numbers of Common and Red-crested Pochards on some newly created islands and several flocks of Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) feeding low over the water. After quite a while we reached the pools at Marisma de Alventus, where we again stopped and spent some time checking out the vegetation around the pools. On the first pool we located the first Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) of the trip and out over the fields behind the water we had both male and female Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus). Also seen here were lots of Black-winged Stilts, Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Little Grebe and a great deal more but all of which we had seen earlier in the day.
By this time it was late afternoon and hot so we decided that we would head for the hotel and cool down and leave the last site of the day until morning, on the way out the main road we did have a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) perched on a roadside post. The Hotel was the TRH La Motilla in Dos Hermanos, it was a large 4* place and nothing like the family run Hotel Paso but the food was good as was the pool which John and I had a dip in.

Photographs from the top: Little Swifts (Apus affinis) x2,
Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

2 comments:

stiefbeen said...

ik kan er geen genoeg van krijgen wat een geweldig gebied en wat hebben jullie veel waarnemingen,geweldig.

Anonymous said...

we are so enjoying the serialisation of your epic spring birding trip through what is arguably Europe's most diverse region for birds. What a day you had!!